"I'm looking for a bass player with whom I can develop a relationship"

So began the first telephone conversation between pianist Gary Johnston and bassist Denise Lear back in 1993. Understanding the importance of this musical relationship was not lost on either musician with such historic examples as pianist Oscar Peterson and bassist Ray Brown, Keith Jarret and Gary Peacock and Carla Bley and Steve Swallow. But neither Denise nor Gary could foresee what was to follow.

They began performing as a duo and soon formed various groups with singers and instrumentalists, provided music for the theatre, concert hall and club venues and performed on TV and radio both locally and nationally. Eventually their relationship blossomed not only musically but also romantically and on July 20, 1996 they were married.

Since then they have continued to pursue both musical and romantic interests together and the result has been the CD "In A Heartbeat" released in May 2003. Along with Jason Hayward on saxophones, Patrick Boyle on trumpet and Richard Spurrell on drums the duo presents original instumental material composed by Gary and performed in a smooth jazz format.



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Live Appearances !

Previous events


Jazz East Big Band

Cochrane Centre, 81 Cochrane Street, St. John's, Newfoundland

Gary plays keys with Jazz East



April Weepers

The Crow's Nest, Water St, St. John's, NL

Johnston and Lear perform jazz standards and pop favourites at The Crow's Nest


NSO Spring Pops

Arts and Culture Centre, 95 Allandale Road, St. John's, NL

NSO with Denise as assistant principle bass

see box office